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Dark Days

July 7, 2013

My thoughts and love to Sara and her family at this terrible time.

I keep bursting into deep sobbing; on the Piccadilly Line; during the lunch break at the AEA Conference; waiting in the queue in the sandwich shop.

I do not know what to do with my rage that LB was allowed to die. Rounding the corner into my road on the way home on Thursday, I stumbled on a microscopic beach that the council have erected outside Debenhams in partnership with Continental Tyres. Twelve retro deckchairs and three strategically placed buckets and spades. I wanted to smash every single deckchair to smithereens.

I feel rage because of the inevitability of the cover up that Sara’s family will encounter.

I feel very afraid. Afraid for LB. Afraid for Steven. Afraid for all the learning disabled in the “care” system.

I have a meeting with the council when we get back from holiday about contingency plans should we be homeless in five weeks time. I know they are going to suggest the plan that Steven goes to the positive behaviour unit if they cannot find him a flat by 16th August. I know I won’t be able to contain my fury if they do suggest that. I’d rather try and manage him whilst we sleep rough.

Steven is oblivious to all this. On Friday we got the programme for our holiday and he is beyond excitement that on Wednesday evening in the Showbar, we’ve got …….. Abbadabbadoo. (I just hope they dont turn out to be a Jesus and Mary Chain tribute act).

There was a horrible dark irony on Friday. I was at the conference for Action on Elder Abuse. During the speeches, I was exchanging texts with my friend Shelley, who is also a friend of Sara – we were struggling to understand how the tragedy could happen. One thing is for sure – elder abuse has been happening to the Ryan family for the past few months.

Sara – if you read this – big big hugs mate.


From → Social Care

  1. Mark, you write so eloquently expressing the heartache we all feel for Sara and the sheer desperation for the future for all our children.

    My son after being without a service for 5 years due to physical abuse and following me bringing legal action against the agency which was successful, my son received a new service, with all legal documentation in place he started his day service, he wasn’t there a matter of 24 hours and he received a serious accident resulting in 4 operations.

    The authority and agency have chosen not to communicate with me ignoring my questioning of what happened and labels me as ”problematic”

    My son hasn’t just receive serious physical injuries he has also been psychologically effected, it seems acceptable that adults with LD can be abused and neglected as if it is part of their package.

    Though I didn’t know Sara I regularly read her blogs and like you Mark this has effected me.

    My deepest condolences to Sara and her family.

    Neglect and abuse is NOT part of the package – ”we are parents hear us roar in numbers to big too ignore”


    Love to you Sara.x

  2. The tragedy is we’re all left wondering whose son or daughter will be next.
    It’s the nightmare we’d all rather forget, but have to learn to live with.
    It is also what turns us into the Warrior Parents that everyone finds so problematic.

  3. Debbie permalink

    I felt I got to know LB through Sara’s blog so hearing about his premature death has deeply saddened me. I didn’t know Sara or her family personally but her blog has done so much in articulating what a very special young man LB was. I always enjoyed reading it which is why it felt such a crushing blow to read about his death. My deepest condolences to Sara and her family and thank you to you also for writing this. Your blog, like Sara’s, contribute greatly to spreading awareness of disability and the social care system and without your honesty we would all be the less wiser.

  4. Dark days indeed. I was deeply affected by hearing of LB’s death and you have expressed exactly what I’m feeling now: rage. The line from Dylan Thomas keeps going through my head “Rage, rage against the dying of the light…”

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